Poker is a card game in which players place bets against one another, in order to form a winning hand. This winning hand claims the pot at the end of each betting interval. Players can call a bet by putting into the pot the same amount as the player to their left, raise by putting in more chips than the previous player, or drop (fold).
The game of poker is not only about knowing the rules of the game and having strong cards, but it is also a psychological game. The best players are able to read the other players and pick up on their tells, which can be anything from fiddling with their chips to their mannerisms.
One of the most important things to learn as a beginner is how to classify your opponents and exploit their tendencies. This means that you should have a way of tagging your opponents, be it with an HUD box or even just by pen and paper. There are four basic player types: loose aggressive (LAG), tight aggressive (TAG), LP fish, and super tight Nits.
It is also essential to play a premium opening hand, such as a pair of Aces, Kings, or Queens, especially at a 6-max or 9-max table. This will put you in the mindset to start the game on a high note and assert your dominance from the get-go. This will also allow you to bluff more often and win larger pots with your stronger hands.